Monday, April 12, 2021

Resurrection Words Day 11: Transformation


Day 11: Transformation

"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters." Romans 8:29

"My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you." Galatians 4:19

The goal of living the resurrection life is to have our lives transformed into the image of Christ; that we become more and more like Him as His life and character are formed in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let's first be clear that our transformation is totally the work of God through His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our teacher, advocate and counselor (John 15:26, 16:13-14). He is the Spirit of Truth who gives us God's wisdom and the mind of Christ (John 16:13, 1 Corinthians 2:9-16). 

God has provided everything we need for this transformation to take place:
"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." 2 Peter 1:3-4

While God provides all we need for transformation into Christ-likeness and godly living, and is the work of His Holy Spirit, we do have a part in this process as well. Our part is where the imperatives or commands throughout the Bible come to play. Transformation requires total commitment to following Christ and to living the resurrection life. We make the decision, over and over, to participate in our transformation by dying to self (moving away from self-centered living) and living for Christ (turning to Christ-centered living). 

Remember this is our call as Christ-followers:

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24

In Christ we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), our new self is created to be like God (Ephesians 4:24), to be conformed into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 3:18), with His character formed in us (Galatians 4:19), to "become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:13). The other thing we need to remember is that spiritual transformation is a process. In Colossians 3:10, Paul reminds us again that we have taken off our old self and "have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." Our new self in Christ is being renewed - transformed. It is an ongoing process of our commitment to Christ-likeness, our daily decision to die to self and live for Christ, and our continual practice of renewing our mind in the ways of Christ and the will of the Father.

Let me leave you with my favorite definition of Spiritual transformation, which comes from Ruth Haley Barton:

"Spiritual transformation is the process by which Christ is formed in us for the glory of God, the abundance of our own lives, and for the sake of others."

And a quote:

“The way to spiritual wholeness lies in an increasingly faithful response to the One whose purpose shapes our path, whose grace redeems our detours, whose power liberates us from crippling bondages of the prior journey and whose transforming presence meets us at each turn in the road.” – M. Robert Mulholland 

Share your response to today's word and Scripture readings in the Words Art & Faith Challenge Group on Facebook. Or share on social media with #resurrectionwords. 

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